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Drug violations increasing among commercial truck drivers

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2022 | Personal Injury

To help reduce the number of commercial truck drivers driving under the influence of drugs in Washington or other parts of the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created a Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse is essentially a database that tracks drug violations received by commercial truckers. It also keeps them from driving again until they take certain steps to better themselves.

According to ESR Check, clearinghouse findings reveal that drug abuse is on the rise in the industry. The number of trucker drug violations logged in the clearinghouse increased by almost 13% between the first eight months of 2020 and the first eight months of 2021.

Truckers and the abuse of marijuana

Most commercial truck drivers who test positive for drugs test positive for marijuana. Between January and August of 2020, American truckers received 18,252 marijuana-related drug violations. During that same stretch the following year, there were 21,438 marijuana violations received by truck drivers.

Truckers and the abuse of cocaine, methamphetamine

Truck drivers’ use of cocaine and methamphetamines also rose during this stretch. Truck driver cocaine violations increased from 5,233 between January and August of 2020 to 5,913 between January and August of 2021. As far as methamphetamine violations, truck drivers received 3,379 in the first eight months of 2020 and 3,526 during the first eight months of 2022.

When truckers have drug offenses listed in the clearinghouse, they become unable to drive for a living until they take certain steps. Truck drivers have to follow a specific return-to-duty protocol before they may begin driving again professionally.